Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Archive for April, 2013

प्रचन्डलाई लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानको पत्र

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 30, 2013

EPSON MFP image

Speaking before to handover the letter

Speaking before to handover the letter

२८ मार्च २०१३ सिडनी । जनप्रगतिशिल मञ्चको अधिवेशनका लागि दुइ दिने अस्टेलिया भ्रमणमा आएका पूर्व प्रधानमन्त्री डा बाबुराम भट्टराईसंग समसामयिक बिषयबस्तुमा अन्तर्कृया गर्ने अभिप्रायले सिडनीमा आयोजना गरिएको रात्री भोजका अबसरमा लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानका बिस्व संयोजक रामकुमार श्रेष्ठले राष्ट्र संघका बर्तमान महासचिब बान्की मूनको कार्यकाल अझै केही बर्ष बाँकी भए तापनि लुम्बिनीको बिकासलाई उच्च प्राथमिकता दिने उहाँ जस्तो बुद्धिस्ट राष्ट्र संघका महासचिबकै कार्यकालमा लुम्बिनीको बिकास कार्यलाई तिब्रताका साथ अगाडि बढाउन वृहत लुम्बिनी विकासको अन्तराष्ट्रिय समितिको संयोजकमा बस्न राजी हुनु भएका मूनको संयोजकत्वमा अन्तराष्ट्रिय समिति गठन कार्यलाई शिघ्रातिशिघ्र अगाडि बढाएर लुम्बिनीको बहुप्रतिक्षित बिकासलाई छिटोभन्दा छिटो सार्थक रुप दिंदै नेपालको बिकास र बिस्व शान्तिलाई उत्प्रेरित गर्ने कार्यलाई अगाडि बढाइयोस भन्ने आग्रह सहितको पत्र अभियानका तर्फबाट डा भट्टराईलाई हस्तान्तरण गर्नु भएको छ । डा भट्टराईकै कार्यकालमा मन्त्री परिषदको निर्णयबाट वृहत लुम्बिनी विकास निर्देशक समिति गठन गरिएको स्मरण गर्दै सो समितिका अध्यक्ष पुष्प कमल दाहाल प्रचन्डका नाममा लेखिएको अनुरोधात्मक पत्र डा भट्टराईलाई हस्तान्तरण गरिएको हो जस्को पूर्ण विवरण यस प्रकार छ: Read the rest of this entry »

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अभियानका सल्लाहकार र बिस्व संयोजक सम्मानित

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 30, 2013

D Samman

२७ मार्च २०१३ सिडनी । जनप्रगतिशिल मञ्चको अधिवेशनका लागि दुइ दिने अस्टेलिया भ्रमणमा आएका पूर्व प्रधानमन्त्री डा बाबुराम भट्टराईले शनिवार सिड्नीबाट शुरु भएको रेडियो जनादेशको उद्घाटन गरेका छन् । सिड्नीको हर्सभिलमा आयोजित एक समारोहमा स्टेसन प्रोमो बजाएर रेडियोको शुभारम्भ गरेका थिए । २४ घण्टा सञ्चालन हुने इन्टरनेट रेडियो जनादेशले नेपाली कला, संस्कृति, भाषा, परम्पराको संसक्षण गर्दै सुचना र मनोरञ्जन प्रसारण गरिने बताइेको छ । रेडियोको उद्‌घाटन कार्यक्रममा जन गायक जीवन शर्मा र लोक गायक बद्री पंगेनी र स्थानीय कलाकारहरुले उपस्थित दर्शकलाई विभिन्न गीत गाएर मनोरञ्जन गराएका थिए ।

Samman

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Overcoming Australian Traffic Engineering Challenges

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 25, 2013

– Ram Kumar Shrestha, M.Sc.

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Keywords: Traffic Engineering, Traffic Engineering challenges, HDI, Public safety, DIMIA, Skilled labour migration, OECD, Ring road, Roundabout, Intersection, Road crashes, Australian economy.]
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Ram Kumar ShresthaBackground

Australia is among the ten most developed countries with second position after Norway under the classification possessing a “very high human development” with HDI 0.929.[1]  Because of high population growth due to DIMIA’s policies to bring migrants and Australia’s road toll indication of falling behind the rest of the developed nations despite huge budget, existing major traffic engineering related problems need to be improved as soon as possible. Australia, therefore, has not only the challenges in maintaining the standard of development activities, but also in sustaining public safety, especially in traffic engineering which needs a concrete plan and implementation strategies.

High Population Growth

The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMIA) allocates around 130,000 to 140,000 migration places each year – the highest level in twenty years – with a firm focus on bringing in migrants with the relevant skills to complement Australia’s labour market needs and skill shortages. In 2005-06, 97 000 places have been allocated for skilled migration.In this endeavour to make a productive economy possible the skilled labour migration strategy is a must for a country with less densely populated countries. Without this strategy the high standard of living of the country as a whole may not be possible. [2]  Australia’s strategy to bring migrants will, undoubtedly, cause high population growth rate in the future. This must be considered in every major development plan in time to avoid problems in the future thus maintaining development indicators within standards.

TOTAL POPULATION: Actual and projected – Australia

 Graph: Total Population Actual and projected Australia

Source: Feature Article – Population Projections 1997 – 2051 (ABS)

Australia’s population grew throughout the period 1997-2051. The population increased from 18.5 million in 1997 to around 19.3 million in 2001 and is projected to be between 22.1 and 23.1 million by 2021. By the end of the projection period the population is projected to rise to around 23.5 million (Series III), 24.9 million (Series II) or 26.4 million (Series I). This represents a growth of 27%, 35% and 42% respectively between 1997 and 2051. [3] Considering the existing density of the population, the projection may not be a big problem. However; consideration of the population increase for, traffic engineering could become one of the burning issues in the future.

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Rijan’s Theory to Glorify Nepal with his Scientific Achievements

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 24, 2013

Karki, who is inspired by Newton’s theory, succeeded in securing the Student Achievement Award (SAA) by presenting his theory on operating a railway in the mountains without electricity or any fuel in an energy conference organized in the USA.
The fund has provided him 1‚200 US dollars annually for four years. With a plan to study physics in the future‚ he is now studying at B. Sc. first year in applied physics in a university.

Rijan KarkiNepal’s youth scientist Rijan Karki has done a quite praiseworthy deed by glorifying Nepal at the US space centre, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Karki, who is inspired by Newton’s theory, succeeded in securing the Student Achievement Award (SAA) by presenting his theory on operating a railway in the mountains without electricity or any fuel in an energy conference organized in the USA.

Karki, who was successful in presenting his talent in the world arena by being active with special interest in the sector of science and technology, has recently received a Rs. 25,101-amount cash prize entitled ‘Sami Youth Encouragement Award- 2069 BS.’

Rijan won the International Student Achievement Award at the age of 16 from the US space centre NASA in 2009. He had presented a working paper at NASA about the laws of gravitation and flabbergasted the participating scientists.

Nurturing a dream of becoming a doctor or engineer while he studied at Class 6, he is on his way to success of becoming a famous youth scientist, and researcher after he was attracted to Newton’s theories.

Karki, who has put several national level awards under his belt, plans to stay in Nepal itself and do something worthwhile in future. Karki, who is engaged in researches of inventions like ‘bouncing car’ and ‘RK’s Simple Machine’ named after himself (which can help push anything weighty and stores energy) , has been arguing that substances like water ,soil and rocks can be used as fuel.

The young Nepali boy, who succeeded in winning the prestigious Student Achievement Award from USA by using simple materials around us scientifically, had only passed Ten Plus 2 level from Nobel Academy, Baneshwor, after school education from the Budhanilkantha of Kathmandu.

Karki is now studying at Kathmandu University (KU) with assistance from a Nepali organization and the Wells Mountain Fund of USA.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal Project: Young Australians plan to Climb Above Intolerance

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 22, 2013

By Brad Clarke, Geelong

333

Australian team members celebrate with local Champa Devi family, Kirtipur District, Kathmandu

In October 2070 (2013) a group of very motivated young people will visit Nepal in an attempt to summit Mera Peak (6476m), Khumbu District, supported by the most experienced and skilled staff of the Himalayan Guiding Institute. The small group of Australians come from very different backgrounds and cultures. Some of the group are former refugees whose journeys to Australia were very difficult and dangerous. Brad Clarke, the Group Leader spoke about the plans for the climb.

Aussie Action Abroad team works on local church building, Bulbhule, Lamjung District, Annapurna Region.

Aussie Action Abroad team works on local church building, Bulbhule, Lamjung District, Annapurna Region.

“We have put together a team of young Australians to highlight that people from all cultures and backgrounds can work together to achieve great things, even when there are large differences in lifestyle and beliefs. And the beautiful Republic of Nepal is simply the most wonderful place to showcase this.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Airbus Launches World’s First “Stealthy” Building

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 22, 2013

Image Credit © Airbus S.A.S. 2013

Image Credit © Airbus S.A.S. 2013

Large building façades have always posed problems for aircraft landing systems, reflecting incoming radio waves across the landing zone, much like a mirror. This means buildings have traditionally had to be built a certain distance from the runway, rendering prime airport land unusable.

That could change now that Airbus, with the support of EADS Innovation Works, has opened the first “stealthy building” at the Toulouse Airbus site attached to Blagnac Airport.

It was not feasible to apply conventional stealth technology to absorb the incoming waves since this would be prohibitively expensive. Instead, the design applies specially-shaped aluminium“diffraction grating” panels to prevent a building from scattering signals broadcast by the airport’s Instrument Landing System (ILS), which is used during aircraft arrivals in reduced visibility conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

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नेपालीले ए एन ए सम्मेलनमा ”गिनिज वर्ल्ड रेकर्ड्स” तोड्ने

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 22, 2013

KP2

अमेरिका, अप्रिल २१ । नेपाल बुटवल, रुपन्देही घर भै हाल कान्सस शहरमा कार्यरत बिपरित हिज्जे (MOST WORDS SPELT BACKWARDS IN ONE MINUTE ) गर्न सक्ने एक प्रतिभाशालि युवा कृष्ण पाण्डेले आगामी जुलाई ४ देखि ६ सम्म हुने ३१ औ ए एन ए न्युयोर्क सम्मेलनमा “गिनिज वर्ल्ड रेकर्ड्स” तोड्ने भएका छन् । बिश्वलाई नेपालको नाम पहिचान गराउँदै “बुद्ध र सगरमाथा नेपालका राष्ट्रिय सम्पदा र धरोहर हुन्” भन्दै सो किर्तिमान कायम गर्न र नेपालको झन्डा फ़र्फ़राउन योभन्दा अगाडि कायम गरिएको कीर्तिमानलाई तोड्ने तयारीमा अग्रसर छन ।

“गिनिज वर्ल्ड रेकर्ड्स” ले उनको निबेदन स्वीकृत गरी सकेको छ भने उनले गत साल ३०औ ए एन ए टेक्सास सम्मेलनमा प्रतिभा प्रतियोगितामा आफ्नो प्रतिभा देखाई सकेका छन् । करिब ६ बर्ष अघि अमेरिका अध्ययन गर्न छिरेका पाण्डे शिकागोमा अध्ययन समाप्त गरी हाल क्यान्ज़स शहरमा कार्यरत छन् । अमेरिकाको व्यस्त जीवनसंग संघर्ष गर्दै आफूभित्र निहित प्राकृतिक प्रतिभालाई प्रस्फुटन गर्दै बिभिन्न संचार माध्यम र अन्य कार्यक्रमद्धारा यस कार्यमा आफू सक्षम भएको प्रमाणित गरी सकेका छन् । Read the rest of this entry »

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‘विश्वले चिन्ने छ नेपाल’ कार्यक्रम समिक्षा

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 21, 2013

भारतीय राजदूत मात्रै नभएर दोहोरो भूमिका निर्बाह गर्न खप्पिस भारतीय बरिस्ठ नेताहरुले नै पनि पेटिशनमा हस्ताक्षर गर्ने र बुद्ध नेपालमा जन्मेको भन्दैमा समस्या निमिट्यान्नै हुने होइन – आफ्नो किताबमा एकथोक लेख्ने र नेपाल आएर बुद्ध नेपालमा जन्मेको कुरा गर्ने दोहोरो भूमिका निर्बाह गर्ने स्वामी रामदेब नै हामीसंग राम्रो दोहोरो भूमिकाको प्रमाणको रुपमा छन यस्को लागि । नक्कली लुम्बिनी र नक्कली कपिलवस्तु जस्ता अत्यन्तै ठूलो परियोजना निजी तवरबाट निर्माण गर्न लगाइनुको पछाडि ठूलो चलाखयाइं छ भन्ने कुरा बुझ्न गार्हो छैन र त्यस्लाई स्पस्ट रुपमा बुझिनु आबस्यक छ ।

धेरै देशमा भएको समस्यालाई बुझाउँदा समेत त्यस्लाई विश्वाश नगरी युनेस्कोले लुम्बिनीलाई बिस्व संपदा सूचिमा पारेको कारण बुद्ध नेपालको लुम्बिनीमा जन्मनु भएको कुरा संसारलाई थाहा छ भन्ने भ्रममा अझै पनि धेरै नेपाली नरहेका होइनन । त्यसैले थोपा थोपा मिलेर समुद्र बन्ने भएकोले यस्ता थोपाहरु धेरै आबस्यक पर्न्र कुरामा हामी स्पस्ट हुनुपर्छ । प्राप्त उपलब्धी प्रसंशनीय छ र पनि यी कुराहरुमा ध्यान दिन सकिएको भए उपलब्धिको गुणात्मक पक्ष अझ अत्यन्तै प्रसंशनीय हुन सक्थ्यो भन्ने कुरामा सन्देह छैन ।

रामकुमार श्रेष्ठ, लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियान बिस्व संयोजक

Ram Kumar Shrestha‘विश्वले चिन्ने छ नेपाल’मूल नाराका साथ सञ्चारकर्मी रवि लामिछानेले विश्वकै सबैभन्दा लामो ६० घन्टे अन्तर्वार्ता कार्यक्रम समयाबधिका दृष्टिकोणले र केही हदसम्म कार्यक्रमको नारानुरुप आफ्नो उद्धेस्य पुरा गर्न सफल भएको छ । गिनिज बुक आफ द वर्ल्ड रेकर्डका लागि काठमाडौँस्थित न्यूज २४ टेलिभिजनको कार्यालयबाट बिहिबार बिहान १०:३० बजे शुरु गरिएको उक्त टक शो शनिबार राती १०:३० बजे ६० घन्टा पुगेपछि सम्पन्न भएको हो । उक्त टक शोको शुरुवात एकीकृत माओवादीका अध्यक्ष एवम् पूर्व प्रधानमन्त्री पुष्पकमल दाहालसंगको कुराकानीबाट शुरु भएको थियो । विश्वकै लामो टक शोको उद्धेश्य ‘बुद्ध नेपालमा जन्मिएका हुन र सगरमाथा नेपालको हो’ भन्ने सन्देश विश्वभर फैलाउन गरिएको बताइएको थियो । विश्व रेकर्डमा यस अघि ५२ घन्टाको टक शो रहेको छ, जुन सन् २०११ मा युक्रेनका पाभ्लो कुज्जेयभ र टेटियाना डन्यालेन्कोले संयुक्त रुपमा गरेका थिए । रवी लामिछानेले भने एक्लै ६० घन्टा लामो टक शो गरेका हुन् ।

कार्यक्रम संपन्न भैसकेपछि कार्यक्रमका बारेमा सामान्य रचनात्मक टिप्पणी गरिनु पर्ने आवश्यकता महसूस भयो यस कार्यक्रमबारे केहीद्धारा उठाइेएको जिज्ञासा अनुरुप ता कि भबिस्यमा यस किसिमका कार्यक्रम आयोजना गरिंदा परिमाणात्मकभन्दा बढी गुणात्मक उपलब्धि समेत हासिल गर्न सकियोस ।

कार्यक्रमको नाम ‘विश्वले चिन्ने छ नेपाल’र कार्यक्रमको उद्धेस्य ‘बुद्ध नेपालमा जन्मिएका हुन र सगरमाथा नेपालको हो’ भन्ने सन्देश विश्वभर फैलाउने दुबै अत्यन्तै सान्दर्भिक छन । किनकि नेपाललाई बिस्वमा परिचय दिने यी मुख्य दुई आधारहरु हुन । स्कूल पढदा सबैले सगरमाथा र बुद्धको देश भनेपछि संसारले चिन्छ भनेर पढे तापनि बिदेश गएपछि कत्तिले त नेपाल नै थाहा नपाउने र थाहा पाउनेहरु अधिकांशको मुखबाट बुद्ध भारतमा जन्मिएको कुरा सुन्न पर्दाको पीडाको परिणाम हो बिदेशमा बस्नेहरु नै नेपाललाई बुद्ध र सगरमाथाको देशको रुपमा चिनाउन लागि परेको देखिनुको कारण । Read the rest of this entry »

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CONNECTIVITY IN ASIA: REVIVING THE OLD SILK ROAD?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 18, 2013

[A number of regional efforts are also being made to revive the Silk Road. The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity of 2010 seeks to promote physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity among its 10 member countries. The Master Plan also emphasises the importance of ASEAN’s connectivity with neighbouring countries, such as India and China and the other members of the East Asia Summit (EAS). In response to the request of EAS, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) has come up with two projects for ASEAN-India Connectivity, namely, the Mekong-India Economic Corridor and the Trilateral Highway connecting India and Myanmar with Thailand.]
 By Pradumna B Rana*     
Synopsis
silk road mapAfter enjoying a history of about 1600 years, the Silk Road had lost out to the Southern Ocean Corridor connecting Europe and Asia. But now there are signs that the old Silk Road is being revived.
Commentary
THE SILK ROAD refers to the historical network of trading routes that connected Asia with the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Actually there were two major Silk Roads. The Northern Silk Road began from the present day Xian in China, which branched further west into two routes which converged in Kashgar, in what is now the largely Muslim Xinjiang province of China, before continuing on.
There was also the less well-known Southwestern Silk Road (SSR) which began in the Yunnan province of China. Bin Yang, a historian at the National University of Singapore, has noted that the SSR had four sections: the Sichuan-Yunnan-Burma-India Road which began in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, and then proceeded to Kunming and Dali in Yunnan province before entering Burma and India, the Yunnan-Vietnam Road, the Yunnan-Laos-Thailand-Cambodia Road and the Yunnan-Tibet Road. DP Singhal has, in addition, alluded to trade over two overland routes through Nepal and Tibet to China. Read the rest of this entry »

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Quiz: Do You Make Other People Happy?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 17, 2013

By Gretchen Rubin

2a117ccGretchen RubinAs put forth by my Second Splendid Truth:
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy;
One of the best ways to makeother people is to be happyyourself.

To focus on Part A here – how do you know if you’re making other people happy? Here are some signs:

  • Do people seem to feel comfortable confiding in you?
  • Do people follow your recommendations?
  • Are you a source of material comfort or security for someone else?
  • Do people whom you’ve introduced often go on to have a continuing relationship?
  • Do people seem to drift toward you? Join a conversation that you’re having, sit down next to you at a meeting?
  • Have you recently been involved in the improvement or growth of an organization, group, or process that involves many other people?
  • Are you providing opportunities for other people – job leads, blind dates, contacts in a new city?
  • Do people whom you hardly remember go out of their way to greet you warmly? Say, the friend of your old roommate, or a former co-worker?
  • Do people seem to want to connect with you — by making plans or by emailing, calling, or texting?
  • Do people seem energized by you? Do they smile and laugh in your presence?

Notice some items that are not on the list:

  • Do people remember your birthday?
  • Do people give you presents (say, for Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day, or in recognition of an important milestone)?
  • Do people express appreciation and gratitude for your efforts? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Conscious Lifestyle: Awareness Skills – Staying Centered

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 17, 2013

By Deepak Chopra

3377745This post begins a series on “skills in consciousness.” These are skills that anyone can learn -and benefit from – even though people casually use “consciousness” and “awareness” in a fuzzy way. Being aware isn’t passive. It’s an action that takes place mentally, and if that action doesn’t take place, you can be awake without actually applying much consciousness.

To illustrate, we can begin with the most basic awareness skill, being centered. The experience of many actors and singers is that they suffer from terrible stage fright until the moment they walk on stage, when suddenly they fall into a groove – despite their nerves, great performers like Olivier and Pavarotti, two notable sufferers from stage fright, showed total command of their art before the public. What causes such an instantaneous transformation? A combination of things:

  • They became self-possessed.
  • Nervousness turned to calmness inside.
  • A practiced skill took over, as if on its own.
  • They found themselves totally focused in the moment.

These are the ingredients of being centered. The last one is probably the most important. Before a performer steps on stage, there’s no demand to be present, to live in the moment. This gives wiggle room for nerves, queasiness, pacing back and forth – all signs of distraction. But to sing or act before an audience demands that you be present; it’s make or break. If your mind/body knows this, and if you have learned through repetition to meet the demand of the present moment, getting centered comes automatically.

Most leaders are performers, too – besides public speaking, they are called upon generally to set their personality aside in order to meet the demands placed by other people. A writer who had long-term access to President Obama remarked on how skillfully the president had learned to shift his personal manner as he moved from one event to the next. In an hour’s span he might be called upon to meet with grieving families after a catastrophe, discuss policy with his cabinet, welcome a new appointee, and hold a news conference. Obama remarked that this quick-change didn’t come naturally to him. He isn’t by nature a performer. But he has trained himself – as every President must – to encompass a job with many facets. Read the rest of this entry »

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Boston Marathon Explosion and president Obama Message

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 16, 2013

 

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Nepalese presenter sets talk show world record

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 15, 2013

Nepal-G1KATHMANDU : A Nepalese presenter has set the world record for the longest television talk show by staying on air for 62 hours and 12 minutes, organisers said Sunday.

Rabi Lamichhane, a 36-year-old based in the US, returned to Kathmandu to  stage the “Lord Buddha Was Born in Nepal” programme, which took the Guinness  world record late Saturday night.

Our campaign was aimed to spread the message to the world that the Buddha  was born in Nepal,” said Anil Joshi, Chairman of News24, the television station  broadcasting the program told AFP, adding that the programme promoted tourism  destinations such as Mount Everest.

One hundred guests, ranging from former Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal  Dahal, to the Indian ambassador to Nepal, to Nepalese television celebrities  and common people joined Lamichhane during the programme.

Lamichhane’s performance broke the record previously held by Pavlo Kuzheyev  and Tetiana Danylenko for a 52-hour broadcast to celebrate the twentieth  anniversary of Ukraine’s independence in 2011.

According to Guinness World Records rules, Lamichhane was allowed five  minutes every hour for a break.

Organizers said he ate some meals while interviewing guests, banked several  of the slots for a longer rest period and otherwise survived on energy drinks. Read the rest of this entry »

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What The Most Successful People Do With Their Weekends

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2013

By Laura Vanderkam

Successful businesswoman

The author of What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend shows us how to have more get-up-and-get-ahead during the rest of the week.

1. They Don’t Keep Spinning. 
Yes, successful people work a lot. Martha Stewart, for instance, has famously claimed to sleep just four hours a night. But there are times to push and times not to. We need both. “A decade ago, I let my days just sort of all blend together,” says James Reinhart, whose San Francisco-based online clothing resale platform ThredUp.com has grown from 30 employees to 140 in the past year. After starting the company, though, he realized that “it’s the quality of my decision making that ultimately makes the company successful.” Without the time to go into refresh mode, “you never end up with the space to think.”

So now he makes a point of golfing from 6 to 8 in the morning before his family wakes up, getting out with his daughter, and running. Reinhart claims to do his best thinking while hitting the trails in a nearby state park. “I come back from runs with clarity on decisions I want to make,” he says. (He may be onto something: A number of neurological studies have found that exercise improves brain function.)

Of course, in a world where we tether ourselves to our inboxes, unplugging is easier said than done. You take your iPhone along when you meet a friend for coffee. She’s five minutes late. You start checking your email and, boom! Work mode is back. That’s part of modern life, but you can still carve out a few hours for a “tech Sabbath,” which is time with no electronic devices. Try turning the smartphone off Friday or Saturday night and turning it back on 24 hours later. Probably nothing has changed, save for the level of your energy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal to boost search-and-rescue capabilities

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2013

DownloadKATHMANDU, 11 April 2013 (IRIN) – Experts have long predicted widespread devastation and death should a large earthquake hit Nepal, a country with vulnerable infrastructure and ill-equipped urban search-and-rescue teams. In an effort to prepare for such an event, officials have created a strategy to boost emergency responders’ skills.

Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley, the densely populated capital metropolitan area, has a history of major earthquakes every 70 to 80 years. The last big quake was in 1934. And though the country has building codes for each of its 99 municipalities, enforcement is scant.

The National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET), a local NGO, estimates 85 percent of buildings in Kathmandu Valley could collapse in an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 Mw or greater on the moment magnitude scale, claiming 85,000 lives.

Another 15,000 people could be saved, but only if there is an equipped, well-trained urban search and rescue team (USAR) in place, said Ramesh Guragain, NSET’s deputy director.

Training, equipment needed

The country currently has only light teams, which can search at the surface of collapsed structures, and a more limited number of medium teams, which can go into fallen buildings to save trapped persons. Heavy teams carry out the most difficult and complex search-and-rescue operations, using search dogs and other tools. The classifications are set by the UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), which provides guidance for the preparation and deployment of search-and-rescue teams internationally.  Read the rest of this entry »

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